n South African Journal of Criminal Justice - Death on the roads and - 2013 (2) SACR 1 (SCA) : comment

Volume 26, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-8527
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2118



Despite precedent sanctioning this approach ( 1969 (1) SA 553 (A) at 557B-C), there has until recently been considerable prosecutorial reluctance to charge those who have caused death on the roads with murder. However, in two recent High Court cases, [2011] 3 All SA 570 (ECG) and 2012 JDR 0277 (WCC), murder convictions were obtained where the accused drove with disregard for the lives of others on the road, and by their actions caused the death of child pedestrians and the death of children who were passengers in the accused's vehicle, respectively. Central to these convictions was the concept of , the form of intention which does not reflect the aim and object of the accused (this is direct intention or ) but rather where the accused 'foresees the possibility of the circumstance existing or consequence ensuing and proceeds with his or her conduct' (JM Burchell 4ed (2011) 363). The latter case of was however taken on appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal, where the question of in the context of death on the roads was reconsidered.

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